Getting Away with Murder: 4 Infamous Cases


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With murder, comes the inevitable feeling of tragedy and outrage. But, sometimes, the tragedy of the actual heinous act is overshadowed by the outrage of a great injustice. That is, when a murderer is not held accountable for their actions, and is set free to wreak havoc once again.

How does a murderer escape the hands of justice, even when the evidence against them is overwhelming? Well, the methods and stories vary, but here’s four people who managed to get away with murder.

Don King

Although Don King has played a huge role in some of the most prominent boxing matches in modern history, one cannot escape the truth – he has gotten away with murder. Twice.

In 1954, King shot Mr. Hillary Brown to death. Mr. Brown was allegedly attempting to rob one of King’s “gambling” houses, so the murder was ruled “justifiable.” Then, in 1967, King stomped Sam Garrett to death outside a Manhattan bar.

In a highly controversial move, the presiding judge in the matter set aside the jury’s second degree murder conviction, and reduced it to manslaughter. King spent less than four years in prison for kicking a man to death.

William S. Burroughs

This iconic author had a rather interesting, and deadly predicament while at a Mexico City party in 1951. He and his wife, Joan Vollmer, engaged in a game of “William Tell.” (You know that common party game – when someone shoots an apple of your head!”)

Rumor has it, the apple was actually a shot glass, but the outcome was tragic regardless. Shooting his wife to death during this “game” led to Burroughs spending only 13 days in a Mexican jail. Then, the beat poet’s affluent parents bribed his freedom back to the US.

Although later found guilty of culpable homicide, Burroughs never spent a day in prison for the murder, except for less than two weeks in that Mexican jail.


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Lizzie Borden, the Axe Murderer

The infamous story of Lizzie Borden, the axe murderer who hacked her parents to death, is a legendary tale. Except, this tale is a true story. Ms. Borden and her sister, both in their 30s and unmarried, stood to inherit a fortune if their notoriously frugal father, and his second wife, were out of the picture.

Ms. Borden, with overwhelming evidence implicating her in the double homicide, was acquitted after a media-frenzied two-week trial. The sensational trial was filled with tension and drama. The defense played the card of “how could a sweet single woman like Ms. Borden commit such a horrible crime?”

At one point during the trial, the chopped-up skulls of the victims were presented as evidence; but, all of the attention was focused on sweet, ol’ Lizzie, who fainted in distress. The legend of Lizzie grows through popular culture, and the case remains technically unsolved.

Vince Neil (of Mötley Crüe)

Back in the heyday of glam rock, the band members of Mötley Crüe were legendary partiers. During one of their booze filled escapades, lead singer Vince Neil and three of his buddies, including Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley, went on a liquor store run.

With Vince at the wheel, the car lost control and crashed, resulting in the instant death of Dingley and brain damage to the other two passengers. Vince, essentially emerged from the car wreck unscathed, and although he did eventually pay millions in civil damages, he only spent 15 days in jail for the murder of his good friend, Nicholas Dingley.

It appears that money and fame help in alluding justice, but charisma and theatrics also seem to play a big role. What are your thoughts?


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About jchasenovelist

Published thriller author, criminologist, and blogger.
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